Recently I found an old MacBook, probably from 2009 at my company's storage place. My boss allowed me to take it and I really want to try it out.

The thing is, when I try to reinstall mac os with Recovery boot (command + R) I have to login into my iCloud account. After I do it, it says that the service is currently unavailable. The thing to mention is that I never had any mac os assigned to my iCloud account. I've read some forums, but I want to be sure.

Should I buy a license for some Mac OS on apple's site and then try to login again and then it would work?

Thank you.

  • OS X 10.9 Mavericks is from late 2013. Just create a USB Flash install drive with 10.11 El Capitan on another mac. This is probably the latest "officially" supported OS for this macbook.
    – modlin
    Jul 19 '19 at 20:15
  • The precise age/model of the Mac may decide how you have to proceed. Try using this lookup at Everymac to get the exact model/year - everymac.com/ultimate-mac-lookup Yosemite will not be an option; your options will probably be Snow Leopard (possibly only from CD) [which will entail also purchasing Lion], El Capitan, or High Sierra. Lion was the last actually purchasable macOS [OS X], all since then are free, but an 09 Mac will be unlikely to be able to use Internet Recovery to access those from a wiped drive.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 20 '19 at 6:23

It may be asking you for the iCloud account that was originally used on the machine. Try to get the iCloud account/password that was originally used on the machine, if it was a company machine, and de-register it with that iCloud account so you can register it on yours.

There may be no need to buy a license. If the current OS is Mavericks or higher, upgrading is free. If it is older than you should buy a license.

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